Telematics Tech Checklist for Car Shoppers

Telematics System Features To Look for When Buying a New Car


Telematics Preparation and Costs

Review the vehicle owner's manual or automaker's Web site to become familiar with the system's features.

Review the Edmunds.com Telematics Chart to compare features of the various telematics systems that are available.

Does the vehicle provide free telematics services during a trial period? If so, for how long? _____ months

What is the cost of an annual subscription to continue the services? $ _____

Security Services

Does the system provide:
Vehicle collision notification?
Emergency assistance?
Roadside assistance?
Stolen vehicle assistance?

Does stolen-vehicle assistance include:
Locating the vehicle via GPS?
Remotely preventing the car from starting?
Vehicle slow-down during a police pursuit?

Convenience Services

Does the system include:
Remote door unlocking?
Remote door locking?
Turn-by-turn navigation even if the vehicle doesn't have a navigation system?
The ability for a telematics operator to send a destination to the car's navigation system?
Text messaging?
Fuel economy/CO2 emissions tracking?
Concierge services?

If so, do concierge services include:
Restaurant recommendations?
Gas station locations and fuel prices?
Airline flight information?
Other _______________ ?

Vehicle Diagnostics Features

Does the system provide:
Maintenance reminders?
Dealer service scheduling?
Remote maintenance information for a dealer?

Calling and Internet-Connected Search Features

Does the system provide:
Hands-free calling?
Internet-connect search?
Traffic information?
Weather reports and forecasts?
Sports scores?
Stock market information?

Smartphone App Features

Does the system have a smartphone app to allow remote control of vehicle features?

If so, does it provide:
      Door unlocking/locking?
      Engine starting?
      A vehicle finder feature that flashes the vehicle's lights and sounds the horn?
      The ability to locate the vehicle on a map using the app?
      The ability to set the climate controls?
      The ability to send destinations found online to car's navigation system?


See the related articles in the Car Technology 101 series.


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